The Reds will face reigning Greek champions and European giants Olympiacos in their only preseason match to be played at Anfield, on Saturday, August 3, with kick off scheduled for 2 p.m.
The contest is being staged to celebrate Gerrard’s glittering Liverpool career and also recognize his commitment and loyalty to his hometown club.
Money raised from events celebrating Steven’s testimonial year will be for the benefit of the Steven Gerrard Foundation (SGF), a registered charity — stevengerrardfoundation.org. The foundation, set up in February 2011, is committed to making a lasting difference to disadvantaged children and young people in need.
Liverpool’s opponents, Olympiacos, have confirmed that they too will be donating their appearance fee to local charities in Greece.
The fixture has great historical significance for both Steven and Liverpool. In 2004, in front of a packed home crowd, a stunning late goal from Steven saw Liverpool come from behind to beat a powerful Olympiacos side 3-1 and go into the next stage of the UEFA Champions League. Steven’s goal proved to be even more critical as that same season, Liverpool went on to be crowned winners of Champions League, beating AC Milan in an unforgettable final.
As Steven has spent the majority of his life in Liverpool, he has seen many of the issues faced by local children and therefore much of the money generated will go to a range of children’s charitable organisations and projects in and around Merseyside.
“I am delighted to be honoured by Liverpool with a testimonial match and particularly thrilled that Olympiacos have accepted my invitation to play the fixture,” Gerrard said. “Last time we met proved to be such a memorable game both for me personally and Liverpool Football Club.
“I am also especially grateful that Olympiacos have truly embraced the aim of this match and chosen to donate their fee to charity. I am looking forward to what I know will be a fantastic game and a wonderful occasion.”
“It is an honour and a great pleasure to participate in Steven’s testimonial match against Liverpool, which shows yet again how the world of football can work together to build a bright future for the children and the young people of our society,” Evangelos Marinakis, president of Olympiacos, said.
“As a socially conscious club, Olympiacos always seek to contribute with actions aimed to alleviate people in need, as much as humanly possible.
“Reaching those affected by the economic crisis in our home country, we will donate our share to humanitarian, non-profit driven foundations and community development programs. We look forward to a most enjoyable and rewarding match, where everyone is a winner.”
Sportcel Marketing, a leading sports and event marketing agency, has been appointed by Gerrard as the exclusive agency to organize the testimonial match on behalf of the Foundation.
In addition, the agency has been charged with arranging one other testimonial event, with the objective of raising as much money as possible for SGF over the course of the year.
“Having worked with Steven on his inaugural fund raising event for the Steven Gerrard Foundation, we have seen first hand the extraordinary impact that Steven has on those around him and his ability to galvanize support for such an important cause,” Rob Owen, director at Sportcel, said.
“We are of course delighted to be chosen to help him once again, in such an important year for him and the Foundation.”
Further information and ticket details will be announced on Liverpoolfc.com in due course.